The prosecutor who put the terrorists in the 1993 World Trade Center attack behind bars says the kind of counter-terrorism needed to stop horrors like the Boston bombings is now “a dirty word’’ because of fears of profiling and racism.
“We have made the study of the ideology of our enemies basically verboten,’’ Andrew McCarthy told Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’
“If you don’t understand what motivates the enemy there’s no way that you can anticipate what the enemy is likely to do next and protect yourself from it.
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“Islamist organizations in the U.S. have made it much more difficult to do the kind of counter-terrorism that we’ve done since 9/11 that is based on intelligence.’’
McCarthy — former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and author of “Willful Blindness’’ — said that intelligence is based on the idea of prevention rather than prosecution after Americans have been killed.
“For example the kind of counter-terrorism that Ray Kelly has pioneered in New York City as commissioner of the NYPD was really intelligence based,’’ he said.
“It was about and beating the bushes and trying to figure out where the threats were coming from and trying to stop them before they could gain momentum … In a lot of ways it’s become a dirty word. It’s called profiling, it’s called racism, it’s called Islamophobia.
“The point is if you don’t want to elevate political correctness over the elementary things you have to do to prevent an attack from happening … you may feel much better, if that’s the sort of thing you’re into, but you better be prepared to have a lot more attacks.’’
If al-Qaida is involved, McCarthy said, it may mean that they’ve changed tactics from staging mega-attacks to smaller ones.
“If they have changed tactics and this is a new phase, that’s something obviously to be very concerned about,’’ he said.
“These small improvised explosive devices are very easy, with respect to being mobile, being able to be camouflaged … and having the desired effect of terrorizing the target.’’
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